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    Helldivers II

    Game » consists of 0 releases. Released Feb 08, 2024

    Helldivers II ditches the twin-stick gameplay for a 4-player, third-person shooter where players can team up to defend Super Earth.

    Helldivers 2 - Are you doing YOUR part?

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    glots

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    #1  Edited By glots

    Outside of this forum in general being more quiet than it used to be, I assume that the reason there’s no existing thread(s) for Helldivers 2 is that no one expected it to blow up like it did.

    I only ever briefly played the first game, but I was still curious about the sequel, even when the lack of ”proper” single player portion did make it so that I wasn’t ready to jump on it at launch, especially with Banishers also launching a little while after it.

    While I did enjoy Banishers a lot and had a great time spending my vacation playing it, I do regret a little that I only gave HD2 a go this past weekend. Even with all of its unfortunate server woes, I’ve had a blast playing it with people, even more so when I joined an established group instead of randos. Hell, even soloing some missions has been entertaining because of the very satisfying combat.

    Assuming that the serves will be in a better shape and people remain interested, I could see myself putting in a lot of hours, which hasn’t happenend with a multiplayer game since…I don’t even know, Destiny/early Destiny 2?

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #2  Edited By AtheistPreacher

    This game had been on my radar ever since I saw the reveal trailer. I enjoyed the first game, but wasn't sure how the change from top-down isometric to third-person would go. I hoped that it would be good, but I don't think anyone expected it to be this good. And the co-op in particular is just fantastic. Been playing with friends every night that we can (and when the servers allow). I'd been playing Persona 3 Reload when this game released, and haven't gotten back to it since. I just want to keep defending freedom and managed democracy. It's probably the most fun I've had playing online with friends since the early days of Overwatch.

    It'll be interesting to see what the roadmap looks like for future content, as there's lots of upgrades and equipment to unlock, but not so much that I can't see an end to it. I've requisitioned well over half the equipment and am in page 8 of the default warbond. The ship upgrades are the thing that seems will take the longest to complete; rare samples are a real bottleneck.

    While I'm here, I feel I may as well offer some rather unobvious tips that I've figured out in the course of playing this game pretty constantly since it came out. Maybe you'll learn something new (also, I'd be happy to hear other useful tips from anyone who wants to give them).

    • Most guns will reload significantly more quickly if you have at least one shot left. I believe the conceit is that if your weapon is completely empty, you're needing to take extra time to pump a round into the chamber. So if you can manage it, it's actually most ideal to reload with one shot left in the middle of a fight. Easier said than done.

    • When the timer runs out, you can still complete the mission, you just won't have access to reinforcements or stratagems while you wait. But there are also advantages to exiting this way. When you call for an exit normally, (1) enemies will swarm you, and (2) you need to stay within a certain distance of the extraction zone. But an exit after time expires does not draw enemies, and there's no requirement to stay within the extraction zone... though you'll want to be in spitting distance, since when your ride does land, it'll only remain for 20 seconds before taking off for good.

    • You can leverage the above exit strategy to farm "super samples" starting on difficulty level 7... even solo. Here's how you do it. First, pick one of the 12-minute "Blitz: Search and Destroy" missions, ideally one with good visibility. Now, find the super samples; they're all always found together around an odd-looking rock. Once you find it, you're good; you don't even need to do the actual mission. Just avoid all enemies and wait for extraction (extra radar range helps with this, either the booster or the ship upgrade). The mission will fail but you'll keep your samples as long as you extract.

    • Currently armor rating does not work as intended, meaning that light armor is simply better until a fix is made. It gives you better speed and stamina recovery and doesn't actually give you any less protection.

    • The autocannon support weapon is incredible. It can handle most elite enemies with ease (chargers are an exception), and can even close bug holes and blow open containers. Its major disadvantage is that it takes up a backpack slot in order to be able to reload it. Also, don't shoot enemies that are close to you (or a teammate), as the splash damage may kill you!

    • Speaking of backpacks, two especially good options for this slot, if you're not using the autocannon, are the supply pack and the shield pack. The former gives you a backpack with four supply packs on it that you can use yourself with d-pad down, or give to teammates, and it can be restocked when you call down resupplies. Meanwhile, I had at first assumed that the shield would only apply to ranged attacks, but it works against the bugs too, it's amazing for mitigating damage.

    • The eagle strikes in general seem pretty great, but I've especially liked the Airstrike (great for taking out nests and just general use) and the 500kg bomb, which will kill any enemy close enough to it, even chargers or bile titans. Also, the final tier 3 upgrade for your eagles gives all of these stratagems an extra use, which in my book is the best tier 3 upgrade in the game, and one that I would prioritize unlocking.

    • This one I think most people know, but worth mentioning just in case: the Breaker shotgun on page 4 of the standard war bond in pretty squarely the best primary weapon in the game. Amazing damage, good fire rate, reasonably fast reload, and since the spread is so tight, it's even good at quite long ranges.

    • Grenades can be cooked, and you should be doing so... at least until you unlock the impact grenade on page 5 of the standard warbond, which explodes on impact. That's a life-changing upgrade, as grenades immediately become far more useful for throwing at random mobs. Its only real downside is that blowing up robot factories becomes more difficult, since throwing into those vents is easier if you're allowed a bounce off the top.
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    noboners

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    #3  Edited By noboners

    @atheistpreacher: wow. Thanks for those tips. I don't think this game particularly showed well during any previews, so I was similarly cautiously hopeful about the outcome.

    But I really love everything about this game. It translates better in 3rd person than I thought. I do think the original was a bit easier as there were more obvious tells of where your teammates are and what they are doing, but the spike in difficulty doesn't deter me much.

    The server issues have affected me pretty severely on PS5 though. I basically can't play a mission in a party at the moment. Any time I have it has resulted in a bugs ranging from a dropped network error; losing all 3 teammates at the same time mid mission; or the worst is when it completes the mission but hangs on the mission report screen, then puts me back in the title screen saying the servers are full with no rewards from the mission the next time I load in.

    All those problems aside though, the game is really fun to play. But I think I'm gonna just have to wait until the servers are ironed out.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    @noboners: Yeah, the bugs and server errors are pretty intense, for both PS5 and PC. I've been playing in a group in which I'm the only PS5 person, but we all experience crashes and errors. If anything I think it might be worse on the PC side. But just last night I was playing with two other friends, and we all crashed out at the same time few minutes before extracting (before that, two out of three of us crashed and we were able to re-join). Very discouraging when that stuff happens.

    Sounds like there are running up against real limitations in their coding that prevent them from easily scaling up. They are getting something like 10-20x the server load they thought they would. I expect it will continue to be pretty rough on the technical side for at least the rest of the month. But hopefully it'll all get sorted eventually.

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    Ben_H

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    #5  Edited By Ben_H

    Yeah, it's unfortunate for the devs but like... how could they possibly have known the game would blow up as huge as it has? Right after release they said that it already had sold something like five times what their highest pie in the sky projections for sales would be. And the game's kept selling even more and getting even bigger since then.

    It's similar to Baldur's Gate 3 in that the people making it had no way of knowing that they'd need way more resources than they did to keep up with how popular the game was (though in BG3's case it wasn't server infrastructure, it was getting overwhelmed with support and bug requests along with massive demand for console versions that weren't originally a priority. They're still cranking out major patch after major patch. They just put one out last week. I doubt prior to release Larian thought that their game would sell so well that it would pressure Microsoft to change game Series S/Series X equal functionality requirements to fast track getting the game on Xbox). Both games completely blew up out of nowhere and sold far beyond the most optimistic projections that the people making them had.

    I doubt I'll end up playing this game because I don't really play shooters anymore but every stream of it that I've seen makes it seem like a lot of fun for people who like this kind of thing. Brad Shoemaker did a stream with Will Smith over on the Nextlander channel and they clearly were having a blast the whole time. Brad said that the most fun way to play the game was to go for the dumb action movie-style choice/tactic whenever possible and it seemed to work out for them whenever they did that. This game seems like yet another game like BG3 that rewards you for teamwork and coming up for the most fun, creative way for handling problems. As it turns out, games that encourage you to have fun in a creative way sell well.

    I wonder as a proportion of money invested which has made Sony more money, this game or Spiderman 2? This game likely required a small fraction of the investment they did in Spiderman 2 and has from the sounds of things sold millions of copies at a cheaper price. Maybe the big publishers will finally learn that if you don't treat games like they're a strictly planned out packaged good (*cough* Kotick) and let studios flex their creative muscles on things that play to their strengths they can put out games that might actually be better products overall. Maybe they'll also learn that pricing games so high scares away people from giving things a try or talking their friends into getting the game too.

    edit: to put into perspective how huge this game is on PC, it has now passed Horizon Zero Dawn in number of Steam reviews. It also has more reviews than Spider-Man Remastered and just passed God of War in terms of number of reviews as well. Given Steam reviews are generally a good indicator on sales, this game is likely to comfortably be the best selling Playstation Studios game on PC within a week or two. Completely wild.

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    ThePanzini

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    #6  Edited By ThePanzini

    @ben_h:

    I wonder as a proportion of money invested which has made Sony more money, this game or Spiderman 2? This game likely required a small fraction of the investment they did in Spiderman 2 and has from the sounds of things sold millions of copies at a cheaper price. Maybe the big publishers will finally learn that if you don't treat games like they're a strictly planned out packaged good (*cough* Kotick) and let studios flex their creative muscles on things that play to their strengths they can put out games that might actually be better products overall. Maybe they'll also learn that pricing games so high scares away people from giving things a try or talking their friends into getting the game too.

    You can't take a game that struck lightning and use it as a model for success elsewhere, look at Sony's other smaller budgeted titles Sackboy, Ratchet & Returnal none have come close. Ragnarok doesn't have an expensive license cost $200m and already sold $15m, the big stuff consistently do better. Late full price PC ports are not expected to do big numbers just provide extra revenue and take advantage of longer tales on PC, it's not a revelation day one release would do much better.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #7  Edited By AtheistPreacher

    FWIW, server capacity seems significantly improved since a patch hit in the wee hours of this morning that added a 15-minute AFK kick. That's led to something like a 10% decrease in concurrent players on the Steam side, probably a similar amount on the PS5 side. End result: I was able to log in at peak hours just now (6pm pacific / 9pm eastern) without even seeing a login/queue screen. I haven't been able to do that for a week.

    I don't necessarily expect that this will spell an end to the game's server capacity woes--in particular, I'll be interested to see how it fares tomorrow as a new weekend begins--but it's definitely getting there.

    EDIT: Capacity also increased to 700k apparently.

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    glots

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    With the game steadily getting its hooks deeper in me, I’ll def play a lot more this weekend than I did the last, so hopefully it does manage to stay up and running.

    Already mentioned in the first post, but if technical issues get sorted out and there’ll be a steady-ish drip of content to keep players engaged, I could really see myself putting in a lot of hours. I’ve already played it for well worth the asking price, but I’ll gladly play more.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    @glots: Speaking of the asking price, at first it wasn't clear to me how easily farmable the premium currency ("super credits") would be, or how worthwhile the +$20 "Super Citizen" upgrade/edition was.

    As to super credits, turns out that you can pick up super credits at a pretty decent clip, especially if you play on "trivial" difficulty and just loot all the points of interest before exiting. Ultimately it seems like getting enough to unlock future premium war bonds is not going to be a big problem.

    Meanwhile, buying the Super Citizen upgrade/edition is completely unnecessary. The only gameplay-relevant things it gets you are (1) an exclusive SMG primary weapon, (2) the current premium war bond, worth 1000 super credits (which, again, farmable). The rest is cosmetics. The SMG is eclipsed by a lot of the other primary weapons, and while instant access to the premium war bond might theoretically be an advantage, the equipment you can unlock with it is way less impactful on balance than what you can get in the standard war bond--meaning you should only be spending medals on it after you've completed the standard, so that unlocking it early is basically pointless.

    Somewhat ironically, I ended up buying the Super Citizen upgrade simply to support the devs only after it was clear to me how unnecessary it actually was, gameplay-wise. I'm enjoying this game enough, and the base price is low enough, and their business practices savory enough, that I was happy to give them a little extra.

    TL;DR: in case anyone is wondering, the $40 base game will do you just fine, the Super Citizen edition gives you no meaningful gameplay advantage IMO. There's no P2W here.

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    monkeyking1969

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    The books are terrible...

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